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Posts tagged "protected bike lanes"

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Biking around Hell’s Kitchen’s New Spaces with Charlie Todd

Last year while filming my NYC Family Cargo Bike documentary, one of the featured people I interviewed by chance was Charlie Todd from the NYC-cool Improv Everywhere group (You can see that most excellent Streetfilm here: https://youtu.be/fBK4RSZN1Do).

Over the last year I've seen him more often as I never realized he was a big bike advocate in his community. So I recently met up with him to go for a ride and warned him I would have my camera with me just in case he wanted to talk about the newest bike and pedestrian facilities going in on Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Hell's Kitchen. Well we ended up talking quite a bit about how the lanes work and how they have supplanted older facilities which didn't work for either mode.

Charlie is also now a member of Manhattan's Community Board 4!

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See The Dramatic Street Changes Happening in Hoboken & Jersey City (See the Vision Zero Cities Bike Tour)

At Transportation Alternatives' Vision Zero Cites Conference in October, some session attendees opted to see some of the transformative progress going on just over the Hudson River in the cities of Hoboken & Jersey City. The bike tour drew am overflow crowd and what they got to see were ample treatments & policies in both cities - a few of which you will see here.

In Hoboken, now into its 5th year of no traffic deaths of any kind (pedestrian, bike or motorist), conference riders got to see the significantly safe streets - much of which is attributable to the process of daylighting, not allowing car parking at the intersections of streets to make people more visible.

New Jersey State Law prohibits parking in or on a crosswalk, between a safety zone for pedestrians and adjacent to the curb or within 20 feet of the safety zone’s end. 25 feet from an intersection.

In Jersey City (which Streetfilms has paid many visits to) they have continued to roll out protected bike lanes continued at a great pace since 2019 using various types of protection for riders. That not only includes armadillos and jersey barriers but in some instances concrete barrels. Both cities are also using a type of green paint product called endurablend which provides cyclists with more friction and lasts longer than traditional paint.

Please enjoy the filmed tour which comes with Streetfilms exclusive, dramatic BEFORE footage showing how much the streets have changed in spots.

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Paris vs NYC: What It’s Like to Bike

People have been visiting Paris for centuries for the food, the wine, the museums, the cheese and even the snails, but when New Yorkers head to the City of Light these days, all they see are the bike lanes.

That’s what a half-dozen envious Gothamites told Streetfilms upon their return from the French capital for his new movie, “Paris vs NYC: What It’s Like to Bike” Double-wide bike lanes! Contra-flow bike lanes! Bikes lanes on car-free streets! Bike lanes bike lanes bike lanes.

But when you see great bike lanes in Paris, you’re not just looking at good transport policy. You’re seeing the future. “They are building the city they want to see, not the city as it is now,” Kate Fillin-Yeh, a Harlem resident, told Clarence Eckerson in the viral video below. (Fillin-Yeh knows something about cities: She’s director of strategy at NACTO, the National Association of City Transportation Officials.) But Fillin-Yeh is hardly alone in wishing New York would stop designing the city to accommodate existing road users — 75 percent of all space for car drivers, for example, rather than the majority of space for bus riders, pedestrians and cyclists — rather than the mode share the city claims it is trying to achieve for its non-car-using majority.

Also appearing in the film is like a Streetsblog Hall of Fame of talking heads: Mike Lydon of Street Plans, New Third Avenue advocate Paul Krikler, Queens bike advocate (and Queen of Twitter) CJ Wojtkowski, and, Streetsblog Editor Gersh Kuntzman. Check it out below, and share it with Mayor Adams. (This text reprinted from StreetsblogNYC)

 

 

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NYC’s Bike Lanes are too narrow, see how Paris widened the Rue de Rivoli

I just got back from Paris to bike around (many Streetfilms coming) and it is so much fun to ride on some of their newest super-wide bike lanes. The comfort level is amazing - none so much as the Rue de Rivoli which is now 2/3rds dedicated to the movement of all sorts of wheeled-devices including bicycles of course.

In NYC we have some bike lanes that are overcrowded (to be kind) and outright getting dangerous & scary to ride on (during rush hours). In the last year I conducted three bike counts over a 30 minute period which shows the number of bikes & other users to be nearly on par with the number of cars who have the majority of the roadway. See this article among many: https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2021/03/31/cyclists-agonistes-new-video-shows-that-first-avenue-also-needs-wider-bike-lanes/

So this is my pitch to NYC's elected leaders and the administration, let's take a lesson from Paris where they have been doing much more to make bike riders more comfortable - which of course leads to more people riding, fewer crashes and a reduction in pollution (and ultimately less car ownership).

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Washington, DC: A Biking Streetfilms Adventure!

At the end of March, The League of American Bicyclists tried out a hybrid style Bike Summit 2022 due to the pandemic's still uncertain effect on daily life. I liked that some of it was on-line and a good deal of it I could do outdoors. So I sojourned to Washington, D.C. to attend and also see what has happened with infrastructure one of the better biking cities in the nation during Covid.

Truth is D.C. is doing a lot! I enjoyed quite a few solid, protected lanes that are new in the past two years and a bridge (Frederick Douglass) that while still not fully finished is already opened to the public for those on foot, bike and scooters with a 20-foot wide path (and on the other side another path will open later this year.) I believe that it could be a record for a multi-use path in terms of width since the two sides will equal 40-feet combined!!

D.C. has a lot of cool stuff going on. One thing I really like is that when they decide to build protected bike lanes they utilize many barriers and strategies and they work extremely well. You will see many styles sprinkled in amongst the footage as we got to talk to Citifi's Gabe Klein (who is a previous head of DC DOT), DC Cycling Concierge's Jeff Miller and Fionnuala Quinn the Director of the wonderful Discover Traffic Gardens who guide us on our fun journey to see a lot in just 48 hours.

One drawback was the weather. I had planned an even far more extensive film but with brutally cold temperatures (there was a windchill of low 20s for our Cherry Blossom ride on Monday morning) some precipitation and frequent 30+ mph wind gusts it made filming a real chore the entire a trip with frozen fingers. So a small apology for being able to hear the wind quite a bit at times. The usual temps in DC are 60 degrees at this time.

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Women’s Ride (The Bronx 2022)

About 200 folks turned out for yesterday's Women's Ride from The Bronx. Tune in to see the merriment, fun and statement the day made for some of the participants.

The ride was put on by The Bronx Committee and staff of Transportation Alternatives. There were Women's Rides in Queens in 2018 and 2019 as well.

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Biking Montreal: Montreal’s Newest Bicycling Infrastructure Dazzles!

THIS IS THE 1,000TH STREETFILM OF ALL-TIME!

I was preparing to plan a visit Montreal (and also Paris!) just as Covid-19 halted plans last year. But one benefit of that delay is that my visit last month allowed me to see some of the newest Montreal protected bike lanes in full effect.

And it is impressive. The REV (the Réseau Express Vélo) is the newest one of those which is designed to be the spine of the new network. It and a batch of newer lanes mark a departure from Montreal's bike building of the past: now one-way lanes on either side of the street are the emphasis going forward with 2-way dual lanes on one side of the street, some of which are too narrow, are now used less often.

Most extraordinary is the width some of the new bike infrastructure. You will see the REV for which about half of its length and it is sooooo wide I was laughing. Sometimes cyclists are dwarfed by the lane, which is a good thing. At one point I saw a family ride by three-abreast and someone STILL could pass! Check it out. Really!

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Jersey City’s Bike Master Plan: Using Surveys, Rides & Tactical Urbanism to Generate a Connected Network

Let's Ride JC is Jersey City's first bicycle master plan. While multi-faceted, the project's cornerstone is the development of a low-stress, protected bikeway network serving neighborhoods citywide.

Developed in just over a year, and in conjunction with Jersey City's Vision Zero Action Plan, the planning process included workshops, "handlebar survey" rides, and a large-scale demonstration project showcasing the value of protected bike lanes.

The final master plan and companion bikeway design guide will be adopted early this fall, however the City has already begun implementing 9-miles of protected "quick build" bikeways along some of the most dangerous corridors in the city core, making progress against the goal to become one of the best cities for cycling in America.

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Utrecht: Planning for People & Bikes, Not for Cars

Utrecht is a city with unbelievable momentum for altering how its city center integrates with people. They've been slowly pushing the car out for decades in favor of bicycling and transit. But in the last few years it has turned up the dial.

For one, they are removing multiple roadways and converting them to bikeways, featuring green spaces and restoring the city's canal which was removed in the 1970's for a highway. They are on the verge of having 33,000 bike spaces with the opening of a to-be 12,000 space facility under Utrecht Centraal, which you are legally allowed to bike thru! They are encouraging more bike use with new routes and the Dutch way of bicycle streets. And they have built the symbolic Dafne Schippersbrug, a technological feat of creative imagination that features a multi-use path that lands on top of a school.

You have got to see it all and that is one reason why this Streetfilm clocks in at 13+ minutes, the 2nd longest video we have produced of all time (only Groningen - also in the Netherlands - is longer).

It was such a joy bicycling around the city. Everything felt reachable by bike or transit. That's why 98% of residents own at least one bike and the city center boasts a 60% bike mode share. Transit abounds, whether it's buses, trains or trams (a new one is opening as we speak).

The lesson for the world is that Utrecht has put the health and well being of its citizens first, not car travel. That transportation plays an integral role in doing that so making traveling simple and easier by bike or bike/transit/walk combo is far better than having people driving around in metal boxes polluting, hogging road space and making it dangerous to road users. Cars create far more problems than they solve. And hopefully Utrecht can export that lesson to the world.

Sure, you cannot make your city become Utrecht overnight. It takes decades of planning and smart policy. But if your city isn't so friendly to people, bikes and transit you can get started today. And then maintain that commitment to change.

The most incredible thing I learned? Utrecht works so well that taxi/car service/Uber is hardly a thing there.

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Touring Utrecht’s Disappearing Roadways with BicycleDutch

As you may know I have been editing a monster Streetfilm on Utrecht debuting soon. It will likely be at least ten minutes in length!

But I just hate when really, really good stuff gets left on the cutting room floor and I only get to see it. So a lot of times I release bonus videos or extended shorts of my journeys and I have done many from my Netherlands visit in June.

Usually the extras come after the debut of the initial anchor Streetfilm, but I wanted to get this wonderful personal tour from Mark Wagenbuur out as a sort of teaser. Better known to most as "BicycleDutch" on Youtube, Mark has been a prolific documenter of all things bike and The Netherlands for a very long time. If somehow by now you have never seen his work, you must head over to: bicycledutch.wordpress.com

Anyway, as I was getting to, Mark will probably only be featured for 60-90 seconds in the busy final film, but I wanted to show much of what he talked about road removal and the ideas around keeping drivers out of the city center. So enjoy this!

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Portland’s Tilikum Crossing: A Bridge for People, Not For Cars

In 2015, Portland, Oregon opened North Americas's longest car-free bridge The Tilikum Crossing, a bridge that allows travel for pedestrians, bikes and scooters as well as light rail, streetcars and buses!

It's a superb transportation marvel, not only elegant but it's surrounded by one of the most multi-modal places in the United States connecting logical routes not only right now but providing for the future as Portland's Southwest waterfront continues to go thru its ambitious development. It also connects to the equally exquisite aerial tram to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) which at its base boasts the largest bicycle valet service in North America!

Being around the area on a few summer days it's easy to see all this beauty and planned car-free options in action.

Here's Streetfilms' love letter to the Tilkum which easily makes the case for other cities considering transportation options near bodies of water. There are many great reasons to do it the same way. The bridge is nearly silent except for the periodic serenade of public transit. The footprint of the bridge is small since interconnecting off-ramps and large roads taking up valuable real estate is not needed, which in turn makes it much cheaper than a bridge with cars. The comfort for those using active transit (bikes and walking) was carefully considered with bike lanes on both sides, and wide pedestrian/running areas in either direction. Also, the fact that it can accommodate three different modes of transit: streetcars, light rail and three bus routes should be a huge selling point.

And the final wonderful feature: the LED lights on the span change colors based upon the temperature and water level of the Willamette River! Believe me on a beautiful summer night you want to stay on it forever.

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Yes, there are plenty of cars in Copenhagen!

Today I got pissed and fired out a montage I never even considered doing prior..

Got into one of those Twitter arguments about building safe protected #bikenyc lanes. The person replied, "YOU just want to take away our cars & driving. Like they've done in Copenhagen!"

Oh yeah? There's still PLENTY of driving there. And all is ok. LOOK!

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BIKELASH 2019: What’s the most ridiculous comment you’ve heard in opposition to a bike lane?

I was honored to attend the National Bike Summit 2019 in Washington, D.C. hosted by the League of American Bicyclists.

As usual with that large gaggle of bike riders all in one place it provides unique opportunities to ask pertinent questions about bicycling, and some can even be therapeutic and fun. Like in this case where we asked attendees what was the most ridiculous comment/reasson/lie you have ever heard in opposition to a protected bike lane in your community or state. Could be a citizen, elected official, advocate or community member (or even a member of the media!). The results are hysterical and run the gamut from ugly bollards to a bike path that can magically make birds go extinct!

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See what this Cyclist is doing with $2 Bills to Advocate for Cycling

Steven Hardy-Braz certainly wears many hats. Not only is he is a loyal Brompton folding bike rider, a school psychologist and an advocate (and interpreter for the deaf) but he also hands out two dollar bills to fellow cyclists, business owners and even good drivers which are stamped with a special message and reminder that cyclists participate in the local economy.

I was very lucky to get to meet him by chance at the League of American Bicyclists 2019 National Bike Summit. Once I heard about the many things he was involved in, we spent about a half an hour together shooting this quick profile.

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Protected Bike Lanes Make NYC Greener

In 2014 I made a short called "The Green Benefits of NYC Protected Bike Lanes" (vimeo.com/109772951) which was a minor hit. I recorded a narration talking about my experience watching how on streets that had curbside bike lanes with tree pit protection that trees were healthier, grew taller & further into the roadway and that the concrete waiting areas provided nice spots to put additional greenery & flowers.

I've seen no evidence to prove my theory wrong now four years later and after looking thru some of the footage I have shot the past two years realized I have built up quite an archive of beautiful shots showcasing that. Thus I present you this wonderful montage (and sparing you the dull voice over) of some of the eclectic stuff going on and around protected bike lanes/greenways that wouldn't be if not for the reallocation of street space to humans and bicycling. Enjoy!

Now certainly every block of every bike lane in NYC doesn't look like this, but it has been fun to watch them become lush whether it be a gardening group taking over keeping plantings, a private residence doing the greening or rogue individuals doing their own thing. Of course, NYC Parks has a hand in making improvements wherever a bike project puts up longer medians or barriers that become ripe spots for trees, which flourish.